B. Greg Mitchell

Research Biologist, Emeritus

My scientific focus is on aquatic optical ecology: the interaction of light with ocean ecosystems and applications for ocean color satellite observation (chlorophyll, optics, primary production, export production). I have published more than 130 peer reviewed articles. A major focus is ocean photosynthesis with more 20 peer reviewed articles on polar optics, primary production and carbon export. I have also carried out extensive laboratory studies to provide a rational basis for microalgae photosynthesis models, and pioneered applications of machine learning to coral reef ecosystem classification.

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Besides ocean optics, remote sensing and plankton ecology research, in the past 10 years I dedicated considerable time to the potential of microalgae to be scaled via engineeered agricultural systems to solve ecological and climate issues by production of oil for fuel and protein for feed. I am a founder of the Algae Biomass Organization and served on the board 4 terms, a founder and Associate Director of the California Center for Algae Biotechnology, and a founder and current member of the Board of Trustees of the Algae Foundation.

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I was lead Principal Investigator on a large National Science Foundation grant 2009-2012 that pioneered applications of machine learning to accelerate the rate of annotation of coral reef images by more than 10,000x faster than humans. This method has now become a standard tool for the NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Program for monitoring coral reefs. The free, open-source internet portal, CoralNet, now supports approximately 1.4 million images, 50 million point annotations, and hundreds of researchers globally.

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